Let me restate that:
The "Call Larry" CTA would be extraordinary for almost any company. But this Larry button is extraordinarily extraordinary. Because this is a county government agency we're talking about. And "Larry" is Larry Lombardi, Currituck's economic development director.
"It's a sea of sameness in that category—nearly every municipality talks about 'quality of life,' their outstanding workforce, and state and local incentives to get companies to move to their location," says Douglas Burdett, who runs a marketing agency in Norfolk, Virginia, just 36 miles north of Currituck.
Doug worked with Currituck on its new-site launch, and the idea was suggested (you guessed it) as a joke. (Idea, meet cliff.)
I picked up the phone and I called Larry. He answered.
He told me he gets about 15 calls a month from people, most of whom aren't just randos like me. Larry's last call was from a woman asking about how to get a business license.
"I'm happy to chat," he said. "Even if it's not an actual opportunity, I might learn something."
* * *
Why should Larry matter to you and your business? Let's break it down.
The copywriting. Look, you can read every blessed blog post on the Internet about best practices in copywriting and call to action buttons. Not a single one is going to tell you to write "Call Larry" on your CTAs. Not. One.
👉 The most effective copywriting reflects who you are, not just what you sell.
The A in the CTA. It says "Call." Not "Contact." Not "Text." Not "Fax" (LOL). There is no robo-Larry chatbot that pops up.
No one calls anymore—it's old-school. Takes too much time. Too random. Too interruptive.
Right? Not true.
You know who wants you to interrupt him? Larry. In part because it builds trust and affinity. And precisely because it is folksy and old-school—not unlike Currituck itself.
👉 From Larry: "People know what you do. You have to sell them on who you are."
The CTA copy doesn't thrive in solitary confinement. That "Call Larry" button in isolation would come across as weird. It works because it's expressed implicitly and explicitly across all that the agency does.
The back of Larry's business card reads "Call Larry." The agency's collateral and display ads feature the same copy and approach. The newsletter is (you guessed it) a literal letter from Larry.
👉 No one thrives in isolation. ThinkCurrituck.com is one of the highest-traffic websites compared with its competitors, Doug said.
* * *
So, over to you:
What's a crazy idea you'd suggest as a joke?
What is your Call Larry opportunity?
* * *
Here are a few things worth sharing this week.
40 Writing Tips
- Express your most important idea in the shortest sentence.
- Always get the name of the dog.
- Place the emphatic word in a sentence at the end.
I shared this item 2 years ago, when this list was about 4 times smaller and only 423 people clicked on it. So I'm sharing it again because this writing tip sheet is pure gold—if you want more lively, accurate, sharper writing.
I learned many of these tips in Journalism school, but I still think about some of them almost every day.